New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday raised the slogan 'L-G, Delhi Chhodo' (L-G, Quit Delhi), as the ruling Aam Aadmi Party announced a city-wide campaign for full statehood to Delhi.
Addressing the party's ward-level officer-bearers and legislators at his residence, the chief minister equalled the fight for Delhi's full statehood with the freedom struggle.
In a passionate address, he said Mahatma Gandhi had launched Quit India campaign during the British rule, and the Aam Aadmi Party will run 'L-G, Delhi Chodo' campaign.
He said that in 1947, India got freedom and all British viceroys were removed, but in Delhi, the L-G was appointed in place of viceroys.
Elaborating on the campaign, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said AAP leaders, MLAs and workers will hold meetings at 300 locations in the national capital from 17 June to 24 June in the first phase of the agitation.
In the second phase, AAP has planned to hold a party workers' convention at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on 1 July, where the next course of action will be decided, he said.
The chief minister tweeted:
Had a meeting wid ward level office bearers of AAP Delhi. Made strategy to take msg of full statehood to every house in Delhi. https://t.co/elYSEV70QK
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 10, 2018
The call for full statehood to Delhi comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled next year.
According to party sources, the ruling party in Delhi is planning to strongly raise the statehood issue during the Lok Sabha elections.
"We would ask people (during meetings) whether there should be people's rule or L-G's rule in Delhi. L-G creates hurdles in our every project, be it the CCTV project or doorstep delivery of ration," Kejriwal said.
During his address, the AAP supremo also pitched for 85 percent reservation in recruitment for Delhi government departments.
"If we want to open colleges, they (L-G) do not allow. It is not the issue of just development....our ancestors had also fought for freedom of the country. Delhi gives Rs 1.3 lakh crore tax to the Centre, but we get nothing in lieu of this...Every person in Delhi will get a good job and every family will get its own house if Delhi is given full statehood status," he said.
The chief minister also attacked former chief minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, alleging that during her government's tenure, people were fed up with inflated water and electricity bills, as well as the poor condition of government hospitals.
"During your (Sheila) tenure, your party's government was at the Centre for ten years and your L-G was also there. I challenge you to run Delhi under Modi's rule for one year," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
His comment came in response to Dikshit's reported statement that she ruled Delhi for 15 years, but never had any conflict with the Centre and L-G during her tenure.
Rai alleged that the BJP and Congress have taken a 'U-turn' on the issue of full statehood to Delhi.
The AAP government has called a special session of the Delhi Assembly to press its demand for full statehood to Delhi. Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had tabled a government resolution in this regard.
Kejriwal is likely to speak on the issue in the Assembly on Monday.
Updated Date: Jun 10, 2018 22:32 PM